A couple months ago I made a list of simple things that made me happy like yoga, listening to music, eating healthy, being creative, reading, etc… I sought out to include one or more of those things in my life every day. The results? I felt a lot happier than I did before. Seems kind of obvious right? If I hadn’t made a conscious effort though, I could definitely see those types of things getting lost in the shuffle of a busy day.
I feel like happiness is something you need to invent in your life every day, every moment, rather than look for it or wait for it. The act of seeking distances you from happiness because it puts you in a space where you’re unhappy with what you have presently rather than making the most out of what you have. Happiness, contentment, or acceptance are available in every moment if we are open to them.
I talked with my family about the idea of choosing happiness every day in life and it stirred quite a debate. They told me that being happy everyday was an impossibility. They said there are specific moments for happiness, such as graduating college, having a child, or getting married, but to be happy every day would be like lying to yourself since so much of life is painful. I felt sad that they could only see major and infrequent accomplishments in life as the times where they could allow a bit of happiness into their lives. I wonder if a lot of people feel this way. Do people feel guilty to be happy or maybe scared to be happy since they think of it as a fleeting emotion?
When I talk about happiness, I’m not talking about those rare moments of utter joy. I’m talking about the contentment and inner peace that comes with coming to terms with the ups and downs of life and finding the blessings in both of these. I’m talking about staying in the moment and not letting thoughts of the past or future overwhelm you but just enjoying the simple beauty in every moment like a kind word, a good meal, or five rounds of deep breath.
Happiness also entails being true to yourself and to the things you want out of life. If you spend over 40 hours at a job you hate or are in an unhealthy relationship with yourself or others, then you already are deciding against happiness and the simple things might not make as big of an impact on you.
What do you think? Is happiness something you feel like you’ve been able to choose in your life?
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